14 January 2013

Cold As Ice - Foreigner

Although I fully do not intend to do this "Old Music Monday" series in chronological order, I will stick with 1977 (my Buddy Holly song came to me in '77) with probably Foreigner's most famous hit, "Cold As Ice".

Now, at the age of 11, there's no way I understood that this song was about some evil 'cold as ice' bitch but what I did know was that 4-part harmonies sounded like butter to my ears and this song was in massive heavy rotation on WLS-AM.  After listening to the lyrics a few hundred times I started figuring out what was being sung about.

Also, since I had my shiny new first cassette player, this is one of those songs that I would record off of the radio onto blank tapes.  You know, the press record and play buttons simultaneously while it sat NEXT TO my am/fm radio.  I'd always get mad when the DJ (John 'Records' Landecker most likely, as he did nights) talked up to the post or jumped in during the fade at the end.

Lou Gramm had one of those voices that stuck out in the crowded music I listened to.  With Mick Jones the guitar playing was a highlight on many of their other songs as well and given his pedigree (Leslie West Band, played with Frampton and George Harrison on some of their albums/tours) this band was destined to be a big hit and were.

For some reason on this one, the repeating/rhythmic keyboard sound got to me.  Also, what I learned later, was that there was this unique sound of a Hammond organ being used.  There's a couple of other songs I'll share later on where the famous Hammond B-3 is front and center.  This song wasn't the B-3 though.  Al Greenwood (the keyboardist) said in an interview in the late 70's that he was using the Hammond L-100 with an EML 101 synth.  He did say that in the early 80's he then switched over to the B-3 (a cutdown version)

Enjoy this video which was the official release from back in '77.  Loves me the 70's hair and who couldn't love this all being done by a Union Pacific Commuter train.  What the hell did THAT have to do with the song?  Remember, this is still before MTV.

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